Famous for his longer novels, War and Peace and Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy displays his mastery of the short story in the seven-part Twenty-Three Tales. Part I is filled with stories for children, while Part 2 is filled with popular stories for adults. In Part 3, Tolstoy discreetly condemns capitalism in his fairy tale Ivan the Fool. Part 4 contains several short stories, which were originally published with illustrations to encourage the inexpensive reproduction of pictorial works. Part 5 features a number of Russian folk tales, which address the themes of greed, societal conflict, prayer, and virtue. Part 6 contains two French short stories, which Tolstoy translated and modified. Finally, Part 7 contains a group of parabolic short stories that Tolstoy dedicated to the Jews of Russia, who were persecuted in the early 1900's. Entertaining for all ages, Tolstoy's creative short stories are overflowing with deeper, often spiritual, meaning. -Emmalon Davis, CCEL Staff Writer
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